Bears aim for perfect home slate

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SPRINGFILED, Mo. — The Missouri State Bears will wrap up conference play and the home portion of the schedule as Northern Iowa rolls into town on Saturday.

In our Bear Nation Report, the Bears are trying to do something they haven’t done in a decade.

Go undefeated at home.

The Bears, ranked 14th in the coaches poll, haven’t lost at home this season with a perfect 4-0 showing.

In fact, including the final two home games of the spring, Missouri State is on a six-game home winning streak.

That’s the longest since a stretch at the end of the 2009 and all of the 2010 season, which is the last time the Bears went undefeated at home in a season.

“I think the number one thing we need to do is concentrate on this game, but with it being a home game we have talked to our guys all year long about how we need to win all of our home games,” Bears head coach Bobby Petrino said. “If we win all of our home games, then things get easier for us getting into the playoffs and to make the playoffs. We’ve just got to focus on that. We’ve talked about the winning streak at home starts with this group so this is a good way to end it because we play a really good team. We want to keep that streak going.”

If the Bears beat Northern Iowa on Saturday, it will be the 7th undefeated home slate since moving to Plaster Stadium in 1941.

“They have a quarterback that can really throw the deep ball and receivers that are fast,” Petrino said. “That’s always a concern for us, we are going to have to be real smart and know where they are at and where our help is, play with really good leverage. Hopefully we can do what we did last week and pressure the quarterback, get him uncomfortable. He’s not a runner, so that helps you. You can do some different things when the quarterback doesn’t run. How we put pressure on the quarterback and how we stop the run will dictate how we do.”

Missouri State beat Northern Iowa in the spring, the first win against it since 2005.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday.

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